The New Year has come and Sookmyung’s new first year students are excited and ready for school life. They will be passing by the Sunheon quad with smiles upon their faces, enter the Sookmyung student cafeteria to have lunch, and be eager to participate in the various activities offered to them at university. Sookmyung’s new family members will also be able to start enjoying cultural spaces both on and off campus. However, for newcomers to the school, it might be difficult to know what’s available and where to go. Thus, The Sookmyung Times introduces the campus to a number of cultural events that take place at Sookmyung to welcome our new frosh.
Cultural Benefits for Sookmyungians
At Sookmyung Women’s University, a number of cultural events are held annually to increase the quality of Sookmyung Women’s University students’ school life.
In February, there is the Sookmyung family welcoming party and various orientation events at colleges. At the Sookmyung family welcoming party, first year students are introduced to their upper year classmates and at the get together, they celebrate the students’ entrance into Sookmyung Women’s University. On that day, students learn more about Sookmyung Women’s University. Orientation events at the various colleges get students familiar with upper year students in the same major and provide new students with tips on university survival from upper year classmates. Another cultural event at Sookmyung is the Cheongpa festival, which is held annually each May. During the Cheongpa festival, students can buy and sell various food from street stalls set up all over the campus. There is also the highlight of the festival: the invitation of popular Korean artists to perform in the evening. A sports festival happens annually as well each autumn. It gives students the opportunity to get to know fellow campus students by engaging in friendly, yet competitive, sports matches. There are also sporting events in which professors participate with the students. In other words, it is one of the best chances to meet with professors outside of the classroom.
Besides the opportunities offered to students on campus, students at Sookmyung also can enjoy cultural events and activities off campus as well. Cafés near Sookmyung Women’s University extend their hours of operation during examinations weeks so that students can have places where they can study near the school. Galleries also sometimes offer free admissions to students who present Sookmyung ID cards. For instance, with proper Sookmyung Women’s University ID, the Nick Knight exhibition is free for Sookmyung students from December 20, 2016 to January 22, 2017. Yongsan Lotte cinema frequently offer discounts to Sookmyung Women’s University students.
With all the benefits and access to cultural events for Sookmyung Women’s University students, students are sure to enjoy their school life. The above list is not a comprehensive list of all the cultural events and spots available for Sookmyung Women’s University. There are many more.
Cultural Spots Only for Sookmyungians
According to the Ministry of Culture, university students claim to have difficulty enjoying culture related events or activities. One reporter, investigating the lack of culture experience enjoyment, found that 57.8% of 281 students claimed they did not have time to enjoy culture places or events. Another 20.9% said they just didn’t have the money to go to any event or place. The survey and investigation highlight the reasons students avoid participating in cultural activities: time and money. However, Sookmyungians do not need a lot of time or money. Specifically, Sookmyung’s main library, Sookmyung Women’s University’s museum, and Sookmyung Women’s University’s festivals are great examples.
The library is always open to Sookmyungians with its vast range of books and movies. The main library also hosts the event ‘This Week’s Movie’ in the Eun-Won Hong film archive section, which introduces students to various movies for free each week. Recently, there were showings of movies like ‘Bridge of Spies’, ‘Snow Country’, and ‘The Throne’. The movies shown are not limited to Korean or modern films. The event offers a wide range of movies to students. For example, ‘Snow Country’ is a Japanese film from 1965, a movie that if it had not been shown at the event, might have gone unviewed by Sookmyungians. Sookmyungians are introduced to various nations’ history, culture and lives through this movie event program. Anyone interested in the ‘This Week’s Movie’ cultural event should consult SnoWe because information on the movies being played at the event is uploaded there regularly. Also, the second floor of the Sookmyung main library lends DVDs to Sookmyungians for free. Therefore, Sookmyungians may borrow a DVD between classes or use one for assignment completion.
Sookmyung Women’s University also has various museums that students may enjoy. Sookmyung’s history museum is one of them. It is located on the first floor of Centennial Hall, and it show cases the development of Sookmyung, the feminine movement, Sookmyung’s movement towards democracy, and so on. Because this year marks the 111th of Sookmyung, the museum has historical meaning. The number of visitors has increased greatly, so before visiting the museum, if you wish to be guided by a docent, visitors should register 3 days prior to visiting the museum to ensure admission. The museum, on occasion, also hosts the ‘Sookmyung History Photo Exhibition’ out of Queen Sunheon Plaza, which displays works by Sookmyung alumni from 30 years ago. This is another great cultural event not to be missed at Sookmyung. Sookmyungians may also view artistic work at Sookmyung Women’s University Museum and Moonshin Museum. Sookmyung Women’s University Museum is located on the first floor of Renaissance Plaza, and showcases handicrafts and relics made during the Joseon Dynasty period. Moonshin Museum displays photography work and novice artworks. It is located on the B1 and B2 floors of Renaissance Plaza. Sookmyungians can also see a number of plaster sculptures, engravings, and working tools.
The most ‘fun’ cultural events at Sookmyung Women’s University are the student performances. Each semester, performance clubs perform, dance, and play instruments at Seomgim Hall, which is located on the 6th floor of the Student Union Building. Each liberal arts college on campus; namely English, Korean, French, and Japanese, put on a theater production. These are great opportunities for Sookmyungians to appreciate and understand other country cultures. Visitors to the shows are often heard saying, “I had never been to a student production before. I was surprised by the quality of the performance.” If you are interested in these productions, you should look on SnoWe or Sookmyung’s Everytime community boards for scheduling.
Resting on Campus
Feeling exhausted from a busy school campus life, Sookmyung Women’s University offers comfortable places of rest and relaxation like its many park benches, cafés, and quiet areas.
Some Sookmyungians may already be familiar with the park bench areas on campus where they can grab lunch alone or with friends or take a long deserved nap between classes. For example, there is a beautiful roof top park located on the top of Queen Sunheon Building. During the Seoul Fireworks Festival, this place is in high demand as it is considered one of the best viewing sites. Also, on the fifth floor of the Sookmyung library, students can take brief rests or study in the sunlight to a gentle breeze at the Sangsang lounge, an open-air terrace. According to Oh Sumin, Department of English & Literature’ 15, “I sometimes visit the lounge for its great view. Especially, in the Spring or Fall, the place offers me a chance to regain my composure in the midst of a busy life.” Students can also enjoy ‘Saehim Yard’ next to Saehim Building whenever they need a place to rest. At this place, students will often be found doing assignments or chitchatting with friends.
From the subway stop to Sookmyung Women’s University, there are plenty of lovely cafés, and even if there is the burden of walking off campus, Sookmyung Women’s University has plenty of cafés on campus grounds where students can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and various pasties. At the entrance of Peace Gate or Campus I Main Gate, Sookmyungians can easily find Blueberry Café. There are also smaller snow cafés on B1 and F4 of the Queen Sunheon Building and next to the Global Lounge. Additionally, students can grab a coffee and a small bite from the Hue Café from the fifth floor of the Sookmyung main library. Prices are reasonable at these cafés. It will only cost 3,500~4,000 won for an Americano and a small packaged bread item compared to the 4,500~5,000 won cost off campus. Also, because the cafés are located on campus, there are easily accessible to students any time throughout the day.
Finally, for students who desire a quiet space to rest or study, there is the Sookmyung reading room and study room at the main library. Students can reserve the rooms through the Smart Sookmyung application in advance, and then enjoy the time there freely. There is also the Myungshin lounge, which is located on the second floor of Myungshin Building, and the first floor in the Veritas Building has a number of comfortable sofas and tables which students can use between classes.
Quality Sookmyung Campus Life
Sookmyung Women’s University has a lot to offer students in terms of cultural events, places, and spots both on and off school grounds. The main library, school cafeteria, and various museums on campus make school life more convenient and are benefits only Sookmyungians enjoy. Also, off campus organizations enable Sookmyungians to culturally expand their quality of life. A number of students are unfamiliar with the merits of such places and events; however, once they have learnt about and experienced them, SMT hopes Sookmyungians will better enjoy daily life at university.